Sunday, 27 April 2014

Rear window covers

So, I decided not to cover the rear windows with just a curtain, as it hung in the way of the bed area and let light in around it, so I wanted a firmer fitting, so I came up with the idea of sticking two shaped sections of carpet together and attaching them to the security grills via small bulldog clips, which seemed to do the job marvelously!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Sleeping Arrangements

The blank slate:

So, I wanted to design a bed that could fold up against the back wall, to allow for full loading of the van if required (i.e. not have to stack anything ontop of the bed space).

So I turned the van itself, and my surrounding parking space into my own little workshop! 

First snag: - however, I could not build a bed the whole length of the loading area (I knew I'd need a bit to fold out into the area behind the drivers seat) due to two reasons, the first being the curved nature of the side of the van meaning that the back end of the van would not fold away behind the doors, and the second reason being the hinges that open with the door folded back in the way of where the bed would fold up, therefore I had create a dual hinge system that would fold forwards into the drivers area, and backwards into the last foot of the van, around the hinge area.

Piano hinges used to fold the extra sections away

Bed nicely folded away out of the way

The legs:

For the legs of the bed, I came up with the idea of using poles connected to the base of the bed that could easily slide in and out for ease of building/storing the bed.
I used wardrobe rails and fittings as below:

The snag with these legs is that the fixtures I used don't hold the legs down horizontally, there is a degree of lateral flex, however, when I store boxes underneath the bed, it removes the need for these legs anyway! 
I'm now thinking of changing this design to a boot camper style that slips in the front part of the loading area and folds out, but that's for a later improvement.

The mattress:

I got a custom sized piece of foam and just wrapped a sheet around it (for the time being) that fits along the length of the bed.

Note to self: don't use a twig-coloured pencil - I kept losing it on the grass by my van!

Can you spot the pencil?!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


I acquired some cheap grey carpet from a friend who had some left over from doing a similar project with a bigger van, so I used this to cover the plywood for extra insulation, and to give it a homelier feel. 
This took some doing, and was a bit of a messier job than first thought as I glued and staple-gunned the carpet with stables (obviously) and used building PVA, then cut the overlap with a craft knife

Sunday, 20 April 2014

First things first: Insulation

So the first job was to take out the existing bulkhead and ply wood and insulate behind the panels.

Existing bulkhead removed

I insulated behind the plywood with three layers of loft insulation silver-lined bubble wrap stuff, and glued/staple-gunned them to the van:

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Plans

Above are the original plan for the bed to go in the van, and a rough copy of the dimensions of the van (to see whether I had enough carpet/insulation) (not greatly accurate diagram, but gets the principle across).

The original idea for the bed was to be two rectangular boxes that would stack ontop of each other during transit, then to make the bed, stack them next to each other, clip them together and tighten around the wheelarch, and then fold out a flap at the front to make a single bed with the front seat rolled forward, and also that would then fold out again to make a double bed.

However, once the van was bought, this plan was not viable due to there not being enough room between the wheelarch and van door for a supporting leg to fit. Therefore, a fold up bed like a friends van was thought up.
However, this, too, became problematic as due to the shape of the rear of the van, a flat surface in the cargo area of the van would not fold up against the side of the van. See a future post for how I managed to work around this.

Also on the plans were more questions than answers, regarding whether a double airbed would fit (the one I had would not) and other bits and bobs that I'd picked up from reading forums etc.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014


Welcome to my blog!

I've recently bought a Citroen Berlingo van, 2007, 1.6HDI and this blog is to show you how I convert it into a sleepable vehicle!

The idea is that nothing is a permanent structure, or can be removed with ease, and that the van can be used as a van and carry at full capacity with ease.

Below is the vehicle as I bought it: